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Morning Brief: Fear Of Racially Motivated Attacks, A Starbucks Union, And Cat Videos

Jonathan Chang's images of  Xiao Zhen Xie covered signs at anti-hate rallies.
People hold signs during a rally in solidarity with Asian hate crime victims outside of the San Francisco Hall of Justice on March 22, 2021 in San Francisco.
(Justin Sullivan
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Getty Images North America)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 17.

When COVID-19 first arrived in the United States, racist attacks against Asians and Asian Americans skyrocketed. L.A. wasn’t spared; the nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks violence against people of Asian and Pacific Island descent, found that hate incidents increased from 4,632 in 2020 to 6,273 in 2021.

This week saw more violence, with the release of graphic security camera footage from New York that showed a man punching an Asian woman over 125 times.

And the widespread brutality is taking its toll on L.A.’s Asian community. 

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A new poll, which surveyed 1,500 Asian American and Pacific Islander Angelenos, found that two-thirds of respondents are worried about being the target of a racially motivated attack.

The poll, conducted by the Pat Brown Institute For Public Affairs at Cal State L.A., also found that during the pandemic nearly a quarter of respondents had been verbally or physically attacked, or had damage done to their property, because of their race or ethnicity.

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“Our survey fully makes clear that Asian Americans are not just facing a public health crisis, but one of increased racial discrimination and hate even in the specific area of Los Angeles County,” said Nathan Chan, a research associate at the institute.

"Certainly, the violence has not stopped," writes my colleague Josie Huang. "In Los Angeles, hate crimes against Asians were up last year by 173 percent."

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The report comes as the nation observed yesterday the anniversary of shootings at several Atlanta-area spas that left six Asian women among the dead.

With their community under the constant threat of attack, many AAPI Angelenos are pledging to make their voices heard at the ballot box; more than 90% of those polled plan to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... The 'Cat'-rix, And More

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Photo of an unrelated kitty cat by knittyyas via the LAist Featured Photos pool
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The Matrix, Titanic and Jurassic Park were all wonderful films. But you know what would have made them even better? A cat. (Well, in the Matrix’s case, another cat)

That’s where Tibo Charroppin, a Portland-based, French-born videographer comes in. Charroppin has remade snippets of these famous films and more, replacing the lead or co-lead with his cat, Lizzy.

“I had a green screen and I had a really cute cat,” Charroppin said, “and I wanted to combine the two somehow.”

Treat yourself to a quick watch of the feline flicks.

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